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South Coast New Guinea Cultures
History, Comparison, Dialectic


Part of Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • Date Published: March 1993
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521429313

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • The communities of south coast New Guinea were the subject of classic ethnographies, and fresh studies in recent decades have put these rich and complex cultures at the centre of anthropological debates. Flamboyant sexual practices, such as ritual homosexuality, have attracted particular interest. In the first general book on the region, Dr Knauft reaches striking new comparative conclusions through a careful ethnographic analysis of sexuality, the status of women, ritual and cosmology, political economy, and violence among the region's seven major language-culture areas. The findings suggest new Melanesian regional contrasts and provide for a general critique of the way regional comparisons are constructed in anthropology. Theories of practice and political economy as well as post-modern insights are drawn upon to provide a generative theory of indigenous social and symbolic development.

    • The first anthropological study of south coast New Guinea for nearly forty years
    • The author makes available the ethnography of the region in a critical and systematic form
    • The author is a respected anthropologist, well known in the field
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1993
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521429313
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 150 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.458kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 8 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Grounding:
    1. Theoretical and ethnographic context
    2. Historical background and regional configuration
    Part II. Critique:
    3. Sexuality in the regional analysis of south New Guinea
    4. The analytic legacy of homosexual emphasis: language, subsistence, and political economy
    5. Women's status
    6. Trends in comparative analysis
    Part III. Reconfiguration:
    7. Theoretical reconfiguration
    8. Marind-anim
    9. Symbolic and sociopolitical permutations
    10. Regional characteristics and comparisons

  • Author

    Bruce M. Knauft, Emory University, Atlanta

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